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The Weird Week in Review

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Dog Nurses White Tiger Cubs

Three white tiger cubs were born Sunday at Safari Zoological Park in Kansas. Their mother Sassy refused to nurse them, so zoo officials recruited Isabella, a one-year-old Golden Retriever who had just weaned a litter of puppies. Isabella has taken to the cubs as if they were puppies. The park specializes in housing and breeding rare and endangered species.

Groper Leaves Dirty Hand Prints

Peter Notridge of Milton Keynes, England was arrested for groping after he fondled a young woman and left behind key evidence -his hand prints. Notridge had been working on his car just before the incident, and left oil and grime on the woman's shirt. The woman reported the groping to police, who arrested Notridge within 15 minutes. Confronted with the evidence, he admitted guilt, and received a three-month suspended sentence. He also had to register as a sex offender.

Tree Shrews Thrive on Alcohol

Seven species of tree shrews found in Malaysia drink alcoholic nectar every day, according to a report released Monday. The palm nectar has a 3,8 percent alcohol content, the highest ever found in nature, yet the shrews show no signs of intoxication. Scientists plan to study how the shrew's bodies cope with such frequent alcohol ingestion. Their studies may lead to insights on why humans developed a taste for alcohol.

Man Stuck Under Dumpster for 12 Hours

150dumpster.jpg56-year-old Gibson Cook was arrested in Dillon, South Carolina after he was rescued from a dumpster. Cook had apparently crawled under the dumpster to retrieve $10 worth of copper wire Tuesday evening. He was discovered by workers at the Dillon County Landfill on Wednesday morning. EMS workers lifted the dumpster with airbags and freed Cook, who was unhurt. Landfill employee Charlie Brown said he'd never seen anything like it.
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"It was right disgusting. I wouldn't be under there," Brown said, laughing. "No, I can't see anyone one else going under a Dumpster."
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"It was kind of amusing to see him come out of there," Brown said. "He was scared. He was ready to get out of there."

World's First Double Arm Transplant

A 54-year-old farmer in Munich is the recipient of the first double arm transplant. Surgeons Edgar Biemer and Christof Hoehnke performed the 16-hour operation with a team of 30 medical professionals. The patient had lost his arms in a threshing machine six years ago. The donor was a Bavarian teenager killed in an accident. Doctors say it could be as long as two years before enough nerves grow for the patient to have feeling in his fingertips.

Delivery Driver's Final Route

150UPS.jpgJeff Hornagold of Crystal Lake, Illinois worked as a UPS driver for twenty years before he died last week. His best friend Micheal McGowan provided a fitting tribute for the funeral. McGowan, another UPS driver, delivered the casket containing Hornagold's body from the funeral home to the church in a UPS truck. See a video report here.

Naked Man Impaled on Spike

Gavin Rigby of Gosport, England was sunbathing in the nude on the ramparts above Haslar Lake when a bizarre accident occurred. He walked over to some trees, slipped on mud, and fell down the embankment. He was impaled upside down on a rusty post, which pierced his thigh near his groin. Rigbby was stuck on the post naked for about a half an hour as emergency crews worked to free him. They cut through the post instead of lifting him off. He was taken to a hospital, where a spokesman said he suffered "minor injuries."

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Thanks to a Wet Winter, New Zealand Faces a Potential Potato Chip Shortage
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New Zealand has plenty of unique and tasty snacks, but kiwis also love potato chips. The universal comfort food is in danger Down Under, however, as an unusually wet winter has devastated the island country’s tuber crops, according to BBC News.

Twenty percent of New Zealand’s annual potato crop was wiped out from a series of major storms and floods that ravaged the nation’s North and South Islands, The Guardian reports. In some regions, up to 30 percent of potato crops were affected, with the varieties used to make chips bearing the brunt of the damage.

Potato prices spiked as farmers struggled, but the crisis—now dubbed “chipocalypse” by media outlets—didn't really make the mainstream news until supermarket chain Pak’nSave posted announcements in potato chip aisles that warned customers of a salty snack shortage until the New Year.

Pak’nSave has since rescinded this explanation, claiming instead that they made an ordering error. However, other supermarket chains say they’re working directly with potato chip suppliers to avoid any potential shortfalls, and are aware that supplies might be limited for the foreseeable future.

New Zealand’s potato farming crisis extends far beyond the snack bars at rugby matches and vending machines. Last year’s potato crops either rotted or remained un-harvested, and the ground is still too wet to plant new ones. This hurts New Zealand’s economy: The nation is the world’s ninth-largest exporter of potatoes.

Plus, potatoes “are a food staple, and this is becoming a food security issue as the effects of climate change take their toll on our potato crop,” says Chris Claridge, the chief executive of industry group Potatoes New Zealand, according to The Guardian.

In the meantime, New Zealanders are preparing to hunker down for a few long months of potential potato peril—and according to some social media users, kale chips are not a suitable alternative. “Chipocalypse” indeed.

[h/t BBC News]

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Supermarket Employees to Compete in National Bagging Competition
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In today’s busy world, efficiency is king—especially at grocery stores, where long checkout lines can turn even the most patient shopper into a petulant purchaser. It only makes sense, then, that a nationwide competition exists among supermarket employees to determine the country’s best bagger.

As the Associated Press reports, Alysha Orrok, a teacher from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, recently won her state’s Best Bagger competition. She’s now headed to the U.S. finals, which will take place in Las Vegas in February 2018 and is sponsored by the National Grocers Association (NGA).

In Las Vegas, finalists from more than a dozen states—ranging from Washington to Florida—will duke it out onstage to see who’s truly king or queen of the checkout line. Competitors will be judged on weight distribution, appearance, speed, and technique (no smushed bread or bruised fruits allowed).

Orrok, who works evenings and weekends at a local grocery store, says she was initially clumsy on the job. “My first day as a bagger I dropped a soda and it exploded everywhere,” she told NBC Boston.

Over time, though, Orrok got so good at her side gig that she decided to compete in the New Hampshire state bagging competition earlier this month. At the tournament, "I was like 10 seconds faster than the next person," Orrok said. "I feel like I get in the zone and I just fly."

Competitors heading to 2018’s Best Bagger competition will face off to see who can achieve the best customer service in the shortest time span. The grand prize is $10,000, which will be awarded to a deserving grocery store employee “with infectious company pride and an enthusiastic commitment to customer service,” according to the NGA.

[h/t NBC Boston]

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